Source: MedPage Today
By: Smith, Michael
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that all pregnant women be vaccinated against pertussis. The move—which would help protect newborns against infection—comes amidst an outbreak of the disease that has resulted in more than 32,000 cases of pertussis in the United States and 16 deaths. According to Dr. Mark Sawyer, of the University of California San Diego and the chair of ACIP’s pertussis working group, most of the deaths were “in the first few months of life, an age where we cannot protect the infant directly.” ACIP said that the Tdap vaccine against pertussis, tetanus, and diphtheria should be given in the third or late second trimester of pregnancy. ACIP members also voted in favor of recommending that infants at higher risk for meningococcal disease be vaccinated with HibMenCY at two, four, and six months and again between 12 and 15 months of age. ACIP’s recommendations are not final until accepted by the director of the CDC and published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report; however, all ACIP recommendations have been accepted in the past.